How to Hold a Digital Camera

By Geoff Harris


One of the most common problems new photographers experience, is called camera shake and is caused by holding your camera incorrectly. If the camera isn’t held still enough while pressing the shutter button, your images will appear blurry.

This is particularly common in low light or night photography, when you have to hold the camera still for longer than the recommend minimum 1/60 sec. and you do not use a tripod.

Even the slightest movement can cause blurred photographs and the longer your lens the more accentuated the movement will be.

The same is true if you hold your digital camera at arms length. This is increasingly common when using small point and shoot cameras as you have to use the back LCD screen to compose your shots. The further you hold the camera from your body the more camera shake you will experience.


This is why many professional photographs using tripods, so as to minimise or eliminate camera shake. Most of us on the other hand, don’t want to lug a tripod round ,so we need to learn how best to support the camera when shooting hand held.

How to Hold a Camera (Wrong II)_thumb[1]

What ever type of digital camera you have, you should always hold it with both hands.

The two images above, illustrate how to hold a DSLR camera correctly both in landscape and in portrait positions.

Stand sideways on with one leg in front of the other.

Hold the camera body firmly in one hand with your finger on the shutter button, while cradling or holding the lens in the other.

KEEP BOTH ELBOWS (where possible) TUCKED INTO YOUR BODY By keeping you elbows close to your body, you are using you body for extra support.

If you have them out to your sides, you shooting position is far less stable and you are more likely to experience camera shake.

If you are using a digital camera with a rear LCD screen tray not to hold it too far from your face (no more than 30cm) preferably use the view finder if it has one. For DSLR cameras, bring the viewfinder firmly but gently up to your eye to provide yet more stability.

For extra support lean against a solid object like a wall or tree or you can sit or kneel and rest your elbow on your knee.

If you would like to learn more about photography consider taking David Taylor’s 4 week online photography class Getting the Best from your Digital Camera

Geoff Harris

I am a journalist and photographer and currently work as the Deputy Editor of Amateur Photographer (AP) - the oldest weekly photographic magazine in the world. Before that I served as the editor of Digital Camera, Britain's best-selling photography magazine, for five years. During my time as editor it became the UK's top selling photo monthly and won Print Publication of the Year at the 2013 British Media Awards. As well as being lucky enough to get paid to write about photography, I've been fortunate to interview some of the greatest photographers in the world, including Elliott Erwitt, Don McCullin, Martin Parr, Terry O'Neill and Steve McCurry. This has been a wonderful learning experience and very influential on my photography. Beyond writing, I am a professional portrait, travel and documentary photographer, and reached the finals of the 2016 Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year competition. I am a Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society and hope to take my Associateship whenever I can find the time. In addition I write about well being/personal development and antiques collecting for a range of other titles, including BlueWings, the in-flight magazine of Finn Air.

Stay updated

Receive free updates by email including special offers and new courses.

You can unsubscribe at any time


Related posts

Our best selling courses

Awards & Accreditations

  • Good Web Guide
  • Red Herring Winner
  • Education Investor Awards 2021 - Finalist
  • Royal Horticultural Society
  • CPD Accredited (provider 50276)